Editor’s Note: This is the first of a five-part series of articles about becoming a bartender.
By J. Halperin [email protected]
So you decided that the best job choice for you is to become a bartender? Maybe it’s the joy of working with booze, or the chance to meet aesthetically pleasing people to flirt with, the creativity of mixing your own unique concoctions, or maybe you figured it was easier to meet people by making drinks somewhere people are interested in paying for you to do that exact thing.
Okay, where do you go from here? How does one go from wanting to be a bartender to actually being one?
You could just walk into every bar where you live and ask if they are hiring. You could possibly (and I stress POSSIBLY) stumble into a situation by being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people, but those times are typically few and far between. Otherwise, you’re going to have to do a LOT of homework before you can snag that first bartending job. Most people starting out don’t have the kind of connections that would make for a quick entry into bartending, so you’ll have to fight your way into it (but please don’t make a mess, it does no good and it’s hell trying to clean all that up when the bar closes).
That’s what these articles are for.
There are several important questions that you need to ask yourself before you can start swinging around bottles with customers filling up your tip jars. Some of those I’ll talk about over the following days and weeks, but each bartending situation is unique. What may be the perfect resume in one location would look terrible for another. The most important point for you as a beginning bartender will be adaptability. Being able to shape your knowledge and expertise to any number of potential jobs will help make your entry into bartending that much easier.
So let’s get to it.